The power of AND: A PLDT executive’s take on success

And the winner is... "AND"! (Photo by Svilen Milev, taken from http://www.sxc.hu).

By Anthony O. Alcantara

We all face hard decisions.

Would you choose to be a high-flying executive capable of leaping mountains of profits in a single bound? Or would you rather be a nurturing parent who is always there for the kids on important school events?

Would you want to be a successful singer? Or would you want to be an impassioned and influential activist?

You can’t have your cake and eat it too, right?

But that’s what author Jim Collins says is the “tyranny of the OR”. You either eat like a pig, be happy, and be very fat, or eat like an ascetic monk, be svelte like Angelina Jolie, and be miserably hungry.

Butch Jimenez, Retail Business Group Head and HR Group Head, wonders why not too many people have the mindset of “and”.

Eat like a pig and be svelte like Angelina Jolie.

Be a rock star executive and be a supportive parent.

Be a popular singing Youtube sensation and an activist willing to pick fights for the sake of justice.

Credentials

Jimenez was one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award (TOYP) for Cultural Achievement by the Junior Chamber International 1999 in Cannes, France. He also received the prestigious Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for Multi-Media Achievement in 1998.

He produced award-winning films such as Jose Rizal and Muro Ami. Monster Radio RX-93.1, Trumpets Theater Company, and GMA Films became huge successes under his watch.

And as one of the speakers during the recent “Winning Disciplines for Success” seminar of Francis Kong at SMX, he certainly demonstrated how the use of the word “and” forces us to think and to be more creative. He said it “allows us to be extraordinary”. It allows us to achieve “the impossible.”

I think it’s like John F. Kennedy’s decision to have someone land on the moon. It shows how being “unrealistic” can move mountains. “What? Land on the moon? Are you crazy? We don’t have the technology. We don’t have the money. We don’t have support.” In the end, the dream became a monumental and historic success.

Jobs’s legacy

Jimenez also cited the late Steve Jobs as someone who appreciated the use of “and”. Jobs told his team he wanted a device for storing music, iPod, and an online store for selling music, iTunes. His team said they can make an iPod, but since downloading music was generally free at that time, you couldn’t make money from the music. Still, Jobs insisted, “Let’s sell iPod and sell the music for the device through iTunes.” Now Apple is reaping billions from iPod sales and music downloads from iTunes.

For Jobs, it is form and function, not form or function.

So, in a nutshell, Jimenez tells us that “and” brings us to the top. He believes the word “but” is for below-average people, and “or” sets us up for mediocrity.

During the seminar, he also shared three principles for building leadership success:

1. authority
2. accountability
3. humility

Right timing

You don’t just have to earn your authority. You have to be patient, too. He told the story of David in the Bible. David had two chances to kill Saul so he could become king. Yet he said his promotion should come at the right time.

As for accountability, Jimenez said we should strive to become the go-to guy.

“You have to have a ‘yes’ face, the ‘yes’ attitude,” he said. Unfortunately, many have a “no” face — people who say “no” with their faces even before they have the chance to hear what you have to say.

On humility, Jimenez recommended reading the book Good to Great, that wonderful book by Jim Collins, who, I think, is a freak. Collins monitors the exact amount of time he spends on sleeping, writing, reading, etc., and records them meticulously on a spreadsheet. Talk about discipline. But then Collins is an admirable freak.

Iconoclastic

Anyway, Jimenez said the book, which is based on years of research, teaches us that “you build greatness by applying a blend of humility and professional will.” He also recommends the book iCon Steve Jobs.

Jobs, who is known for being overbearing, has mellowed over the years and, in an act of great humility, has acknowledged the contributions of his people.

And, finally, Jimenez recommends three experiences that people have to try.

1. Own your own business.
2. Become an employee.
3. Lead a volunteer organization.

Valuable lessons

He has accomplished all these and has learned and profited from his experiences. For him, owning your own business will teach you how to lead and manage an enterprise. Becoming an employee will teach you what it feels like to be an employee and how you can contribute to the organization. And leading a volunteer organization will teach you how to lead people without paying them.

Of course there are a lot of other lessons to be learned. Everyone can certainly benefit from these.

But before you quit your job and appoint yourself CEO of I and Me, Inc., think of Jimenez’s advice on the power of “and”. Maybe then you can say, “I am a business owner and an employee and a leader of a volunteer organization.”

It may work.

###

(Note: You may wonder why Butch Jimenez has a separate story. Three reasons: 1) I am more into business and self-improvement, especially since I’m an avid reader of business books and I’m always looking for ways to improve myself, 2) I have no background in making movies as the other seminar speakers Jeric and Paul Soriano, though I can relate to their messages in the seminar and I like watching well-made movies, 3) I am not really a fitness buff like the speaker Dyan Castillejo, though I try to keep myself fit and I have a black belt in Aikido. Mr. Jimenez is also one of the sponsors in my wedding. He did not ask me to write this, though. I just hope he likes it. Ok, I think I’m over-explaining already. That’s it.)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: